Diet Change

Hi guys,

I have to apologise for me leaving you guys again. After my second job finished, I’ve been trying to put as many hours as I can at my first job so I have a bit of money coming in! Next week I’m working 8 days in a row >.<

But anyhow, I wanted to update you on how I’m doing. The past month has been quite stressful with worrying about money and family. I’d fallen off the wagon a bit and generally feeling quite crappy and sorry for myself. The thing is, I wasn’t bothered enough to do anything about it. Then, I just happened to want to go to Costco as I hadn’t been in over a year/two years and I saw a diabetes cookbook. Don’t ask me what drew me to it, especially as it focussed on the story of the author’s type 1 diabetic child (I’m type 2), but it really resonated with me.

I decided I was going to go low carb. I’m on day 3 so far and I’m feeling generally OK. Yesterday was the “new diet blues” where you’re constantly ravenous despite eating (I blame my body craving sugar) but I’m already seeing results which is nice. My blood pressure is down a bit, my blood sugars have fallen slightly and I’ve lost a kilo (though I did put 3 on in a month and I know that weight fluctuates daily but it’s just nice to see the scales go down!).

One thing that has confused me though, is what macros to actually use. I know I wanted to go low carb, but not enough to go into ketosis (I struggled really badly on the Cambridge Weight Plan which focussed on staying in this) so I knew I wanted to start on about 90g carbs. The hardest part after was trying to figure how much protein and fat to eat. A lot of advice leads to having higher fat consumption, which I have really struggled to get my head around. I’ve used a couple of macro calculators and some were telling me to eat 100g of fat! Personally, I would prefer to focus more on protein but there are warnings not to go too high or you won’t lose weight. What’s a girl to do?

So I’m going to experiment. I’m using MyFitnessPal to log my foods and macros (username is YzzyBella if you want to be friends). My current macros are: protein 30% (115g), fat 47% (82g) and carbs 23% (90g) with my calorie goal at 1558. It might be all wrong, any dietician looking at it might think I’m crazy but I’m going to see how I go for the next week and adjust if necessary. Obviously if my blood sugars, weight and blood pressure are rising, then it’s not working for my body and I’m going to have to look again at my macro distribution. Luckily I’ve got the equipment to monitor it daily so also if it falls too rapidly, I know to visit my doctor and look at my medication too. I have to admit that I haven’t done an insane amount of research on macros and this diet. I previously have dabbled low carb before about 4 years ago and I think it worked well for me but then I went to start Slimming World and forgot all about it. If you have any advice, please leave me a comment as knowledge is key, right?

Until next time.. x

Last Week’s Food Prep 3rd-9th July 2017

Hi guys,

So I am writing this a little late – mainly because I was mainly eating on my own (as OH didn’t fancy ANY of the food I had planned!) and I got treated to a couple of meals for doing some extra bits and pieces for people. My £25 food budget ended up lasting me two weeks and I topped up during this week (10-16 July) with some impromptu snack foods as I was working super late one night and had run out of food and a trip to McDonalds >.< so I've probably spent around £50 over the two weeks.

I did the majority of my food prep in one day whilst I was doing some paperwork at home. I did have a couple of cravings for certain foods which I made using stuff I already had so I didn't buy any additional ingredients (10/10 for sticking to the budget for me!).

So first off I cooked my gammon joint from Aldi. I used this recipe from Feisty Tapas and then made a delicious gammon and vegetable soup based on Feisty Tapas’ recipe here. I added a few more veggies to clear out what I had left in the fridge and to bulk it out a little more as well as adding a cinnamon stick, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns for extra flavour. I really do recommend this recipe – it’s so delicious and I love using my new Instant Pot.

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I used about a third of the gammon joint to slice back up and put in the soup and I sliced the rest to use for another meal.

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The night before I marinated my chicken drumsticks. I marinated half in a BBQ sauce I had lying around and the other half I did my own marinade of soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, pepper, chilli, garlic powder and some smoked paprika. I then roasted these and took the meat off the bone for meals, sandwiches or salads in the week.

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At the same time I roasted some new potatoes and carrots to go alongside some meals.

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Whilst the oven was still on, I also roasted my lamb leg with some courgette slices. I put garlic pieces in little slits all over the lamb leg and then covered with salt, pepper and mint sauce.

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Midway through the week I had a craving for a creamy pasta bake. I made a cheese sauce from scratch using a bechamel base (flour, butter, milk). I used some water in place of some of the milk to reduce the calories a little bit. I threw in some of the chicken, a slice of gammon as well as broccoli and cauliflower and some pasta we had in the cupboard. Placed it in the oven for around 20-30 minutes until golden brown and served it with homemade garlic bread. I had made a homemade loaf but forgot to take a photo! To make the garlic bread, I toasted it before putting a mix of butter, garlic powder and chopped garlic and placing it in the oven for the last 5 minutes.

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I also had a super craving for congee late one night after work which I also forgot to take a photo of as it was so late and I was a little hangry. I based my recipe on this one from Pressure Cook Recipes. As I used the chicken I cooked earlier, I reduced the cooking time a little to just cook the rice through. I added preserved Tianjin vegetables and some pieces of spam I had sliced in the freezer from the last time we had hotpot. Really delicious.

As of today, I still have some leftover pieces of lamb and gammon and some frozen veggies and potatoes. My next post will be on some of the meals I’ve eaten over the last couple of weeks.

Until next time.. x

Food Shop & Meal Plan 03.07.17

Hi guys,

As promised, here is my food shop and meal plan for the upcoming week. If you read my update post, you’ll know that I’m preparing myself for a sharp drop in income so I will be curbing my spending and eating more at home.

To prepare for my food shop, I went online to both Asda (as my flatmate has 10% discount) and Aldi (where I live, they are around the corner from each other and only a 5 minute drive from me) to see what special offers there were on meat and vegetables. I then decided which meats I wanted to use and compared them to each other to make sure I was getting the best price. My aim for the shop was £25.

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Frozen items: mixed shredded cabbage (£1) and broccoli & cauliflower (£1.25) from Asda

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Meat: a kilo of chicken drumsticks (£1.89), smoked gammon joint (£2.65) and a half leg of lamb (£7.76) from Aldi

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Fresh items: Charlotte potatoes (95p), 4 baking potatoes (85p), a watermelon (£1.99) from Aldi and semi skimmed milk (75p), 1kg carrots (45p), celery (55p), strawberries (£1) and courgettes (95p) from Asda

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Cupboard items: sugar free tropical blast drink (42p), diet lemonade (19p) from Aldi and mint sauce (83p), bread flour (79p) and mini wraps (75p) from Asda.

In total, I spent £16.68 at Aldi and £7.49 (after discount) at Asda, giving me a grand total of £24.17. I had also planned to get some cherries from Aldi but they were sold out. I still have some avocados, a couple of carrots & potatoes, some smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes from last week’s shop so they will be used up in the next couple of days. I could have been even more under target if I didn’t choose lamb but I have a bad roast dinner craving and I can use the leftovers in sandwiches and whatnot in the week. I can pick up some eggs and rice for free so I will probably top up these at some point too.

Meal Plan

I no longer assign meals to days as I’ve found I’m less likely to follow the meal plan if it’s too rigid! Therefore, breakfasts on my list consist of avocado toast with eggs and tomatoes, granola/cereal with milk or beans on toast with a veggie.

Lunches and dinners will be a mix of: gammon and vegetable soup, gammon steak with potatoes & vegetables, roast chicken dinner, roast lamb dinner, lamb/chicken sandwiches, lamb/chicken stir fry with rice.

So, until next time.. x

I’m back! Update

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long time. A really long time. I apologise! My life has been quite the rollercoaster with work going a bit insane, moving & just being crazy disorganised.

So what’s new? Well, I’m very nearly discharged from the hospital for my diabetes. With work, I was just grabbing food whenever I could, binge eating as I had no idea when I would have time to eat next and drinking an awful lot of sugary drinks to give me energy, which was then followed by massive sugar crashes. I know I was burning myself out but when you’re working with family, sometimes you don’t know how to say no. So the result of this was at my yearly check up in June 2016, the nurse was really worried about my HBA1C (blood sugar level over the past few months) as it had increased rather than decreased. I was given gliclazide, a blood sugar monitor for the first time and a referral to the diabetes clinic. My blood sugars were ranging from 4.2 to 15 and I was all over the place. Though my blood sugars came down, I was a bit of a mess to be honest!

When I visited the clinic in January 2017, the nurse I was with suggested that maybe I try the newest diabetes drug (SGLT2 inhibitors) Farxiga, which prevents the kidneys from reabsorbing the sugar and instead is passed through urine. I recently posted on my instagram that this medication has suited me so much better. Instead of my blood sugars jumping all over the place, I’m now usually around 5-7mmol/L and my energy levels are so much better.

To give you an indicator of how bad it is, the target for HBA1C is 48. In September last year, my result was 98, which is scarily high and more than double the target figure. The gliclazide lowered me to 78 and in May, I hit 60. I have also lost around 4kg (all my doctors now weigh in kilograms opposed to stones and pounds so I’m trying to make the conversion!) which is around 9lbs. My total weight loss from my original start weight is currently at 1st 5lb which is about 8.5kg. It’s been really slow progress but this scare has given me a huge kick up the backside.

I saw my diabetes nurse at the GP the other week and as my blood pressure is now at around 102/77 (before it could hit 147/112 – 120/80 is ideal I think) so she said we’ll monitor my blood pressure as I lose more weight as my medication will need to be adjusted. I literally can’t wait as at the minute I’m taking around 7 tablets for my diabetes and blood pressure, 1 for my hayfever and 2 supplements for hair and energy (I have had quite a lot of hair loss recently due to stress) so less tablets would be more than welcomed.

Current stats:

CW: 93.4kg or 14st 9lb
BMI: 35
Body Fat: 43.4%

Alongside that, in a couple of weeks I will be down a job. I’m now preparing myself for the drop in income by tightening my belt and so I’m getting full swing into meal prepping and researching my shopping list first – so these will be back! I will be looking at weight loss on a budget and keeping tabs back on here to keep me accountable.

So, until next time.. x

Quick Update

Hi guys,

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. Work had gone crazy hectic which I wasn’t expecting (so much for January blues!) so the 60-70 hour work weeks have pretty much ground my life to a standstill. 

I’ve had a consultation at the hospital and been prescribed a new drug which has a side effect of weight loss. It’s only been about a month and although I look a bit skinnier, my scales have stayed the same. Not sure if this is due to me recently taking up swimming again or the lack of home cooking (I’ve unfortunately had a few weeks where I’ve eaten out for every single meal – ridiculous I know!). 

Leading onto my budget. I’ll be honest, I haven’t really had one the past six or seven weeks. Everything has kind of been ticking over and my eating out bill has been considerable but my credit card bill (I put everything on it) is less than expected and I’ve just booked a mini break away at the end of March so it can’t be too bad. I’m hoping for things to die down a little bit so I can focus on myself before the rush of Mother’s Day and Easter so I can blog a bit more and take a closer look at my finances. 

On the whole, I think I’m ok. The long weeks are dragging me down and for some crazy reason I decided this was the best time to start a CIMA unit so all in all, I’m surviving. I hope you’re all well and I’ll see you (hopefully!) soon.  

Until next time.. x

Weigh In Tuesday : 06.12.16

Hi guys,

So it’s been a long while since I’ve done a weigh in. Since my hours got upped at my second job, weight loss has flown out of the window – I was getting really unhealthy, not eating for 9-10 hours and then having a massive meal late at night when I had time and drinking full sugar drinks to get me through 13-15 hour shifts on my feet with a 5 minute break here and there.

Not fun at all. My hours have been cut back a bit to allow for a day to work from home. This means that I have four days at home and three days away. Things have settled a little now so I have to get back on the wagon and what better time than just before Christmas :/

Anyhow, I haven’t weighed myself since July. Even my scales had died, it has been that long! I remember I had just been ill and I managed to get to 14st 12lb. I have since, over the last 4 and a half months, put on 4lbs to weigh in at 15st 2lb. Not bad I suppose, considering I was getting to a point I was so exhausted, I was permanently eating out or bringing takeaways home.

So, onto bigger and better things. I’m going to try and stay away from the mince pies at work and try and eat healthier at the restaurant. Drinking more water is key and eating more regularly so I lay off the full sugar lemonade. I’m so lethargic and suffering from insomnia at the moment so a regular schedule would probably do me the world of wonders. I need my energy and spark back!

Goal for next week: 1lb loss (let’s start small to begin with!).

Until next time.. x

Budget : December 2016 Goals

Hi guys,

Another month, another lot of goals. Yay.

December Goals:
– Meal plan thoroughly
– Eat less takeaways and spend less on food
– Start saving an extra £150/month for house deposit
– Start saving an extra £150/month for travelling
– Save £700 for my accounting tuition for January
– Drink more water

Budget (Income approx. £2264):
– Food: £300. I spent just over £500 last month so I want to cut this down by £200. This is manageable. I can do this.
– Pension: £160
– Netflix: £7.49
– Experian: £9.99
– Petrol & Parking: £60
– Usual Savings: £400
– Additional Savings: £300
– Accounting Tuition: £750
– Christmas purchases: £250
Total: £2237.48

Until next time.. x